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Home » What Vitamins Does My Cat Want? What Do They All Do?

What Vitamins Does My Cat Want? What Do They All Do?

As a cat proprietor, I do know that looking for cat meals could be overwhelming. All of us wish to give our cats the absolute best diet however don’t essentially wish to spend extra cash on issues they don’t want. It’s common for pet meals labels to be deceptive. Producers capitalize on tendencies like “grain-free” or “added probiotics” to promote their merchandise. However which of them truly include the diet your cat must thrive? And what precisely do all these nutritional vitamins and minerals do on your cat?

Let’s check out the vitamins cats want and why. I’ll present you the essential vitamins your cat wants and what all of them do!

Cats Are Obligate Carnivores

Cats are obligate carnivores, which suggests they want animal protein in an effort to survive. In different phrases, they have to eat meat. In actual fact, cats can’t digest plant protein, and so they can’t produce sure nutritional vitamins and amino acids with out meat of their weight loss plan. They want meat to outlive.

Amino acids are the constructing blocks of protein. They’re linked collectively in chains known as polypeptides. Some proteins additionally include nitrogen-containing compounds known as purines (adenine and guanine). Proteins carry out many features within the physique, like constructing muscle, sustaining physique tissues like pores and skin and organs, transporting oxygen via purple blood cells, aiding digestion so meals could be extra simply absorbed, producing antibodies to battle illness, and producing enzymes to manage chemical reactions in cells all through the physique.

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Cats Want Amino Acids

Your cat wants 20 amino acids that their physique can’t produce on their very own. These important amino acids should be obtained from meals. Crucial ones are taurine, arginine, lysine, and methionine.

The Significance of Taurine

Whereas it’s essential to verify all important amino acids are contained in your cat’s weight loss plan, taurine is especially essential. Whereas taurine is available in animal-based proteins, cats can’t retailer it of their our bodies. Due to this, it should be consumed regularly to keep away from a deficiency.

Signs of taurine deficiency don’t present up instantly. They develop over a number of months. By the point it turns into obvious {that a} cat is poor in taurine, the deficiency is already extreme. Taurine deficiency results in impaired imaginative and prescient via the deterioration of the retina. It additionally causes the muscle tissues of the guts to weaken, resulting in dilated cardiomyopathy.

Omega Fatty Acids

Arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, is one other important nutrient for a cat’s well being. This fatty acid is used to create prostaglandins and leukotrienes. These compounds are important for blood clotting and the right functioning of the immune system. Arachidonic acid additionally helps cats battle off parasites like fleas.

Arachidonic acid could be present in rooster and eggs however is especially excessive in fish oil dietary supplements like salmon oil. In case your cat’s meals incorporates omega-6 fatty acids, it’s seemingly they’re getting sufficient. Total supplementation shouldn’t exceed 2% of their every day calorie consumption.

How A lot Protein Does a Cat Want?

Grownup cats require a minimal of 6.5 g/100 kcal of protein every day. Pregnant or nursing cats and kittens want 7.5g/100 kcal per day. Most business cat meals include 1.5 to 2 occasions this quantity of protein. In case your cat is consuming meals that meets the AAFCO pet diet tips, you might be secure to imagine they’re getting sufficient protein of their weight loss plan.

grey cat eating meat
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Fats as an Power Supply

Fats is a necessary nutrient for cats. They want about 0.5 to 1.5% fats of their weight loss plan, however not like different animals, cats don’t retailer fats for later use. Which means that they want a continuing provide of power from the meals they eat to keep up a wholesome weight and power stage all through the day.

Whereas we have a tendency to think about fats as unhealthy, a fat-free weight loss plan will make your cat sick. As a result of they’re small animals, cats want excessive quantities of power from a small quantity of meals. That is known as caloric density, and it’s essential on your cat to remain wholesome. It’s additionally why you wish to select meals that packs as a lot high quality diet into each chew as doable.

A wholesome kitten requires roughly 60 energy per pound of physique weight to keep up its well being, whereas grownup cats want between 400 and 500 energy per pound every day. The perfect weight loss plan will include round 5–10% fats on a dry matter foundation (after all of the water is eliminated). Meaning for those who feed your cat 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of meals, it ought to include between 5 and 10 grams of fats (0.18 ounces).

Different Necessary Vitamins

Along with protein, amino acids, omega fatty acids, and fats, there are a selection of different nutritional vitamins and minerals which can be essential to your cat’s general well being.


Water isn’t a nutrient per se, however it’s important. A cat’s physique is 70% water. Water helps a cat’s physique distribute vitamins correctly, keep physique temperature, eradicate toxins, and metabolize meals accurately. Not like different animals, cats can’t go with out water for greater than 24 hours with out struggling critical well being penalties, so it’s essential that they’ve fixed entry to scrub consuming water.

grey British cat looks at blue water bowl on the floor
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Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for wholesome imaginative and prescient and the upkeep of a robust immune system.

Vitamin D

Often known as the “sunshine vitamin,” Vitamin D performs a vital position within the functioning of nerves, bones, and muscle tissues.

B Nutritional vitamins

  • Vitamin B1, also referred to as Thiamine, is important for carbohydrate metabolism and nerve impulse transmission.
  • Vitamin B2, or Riboflavin, permits oxygen distribution all through your cat’s physique and improves the breakdown of vitamins. Vitamin B2 deficiency could cause a lower within the high quality of your cat’s pores and skin and coat.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) retains the gastrointestinal, pores and skin, and nervous techniques wholesome.
  • Vitamin B6, or Pyridoxine, performs a job within the functioning of the immune system and purple blood cells. This vitamin is critical for correct protein metabolism. B6 deficiency results in seizures and kidney lesions, however this can be very uncommon.


Iron is essential for the manufacturing of purple blood cells and for transporting oxygen all through the physique. Industrial cat meals include supplemental iron to fulfill dietary necessities.

tabby cat eating cat food out of bowl inside
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Calcium performs a job in a variety of completely different physique features, together with:

  • Bone development
  • Blood coagulation
  • Muscle contraction
  • Nerve impulse transmission


Magnesium permits your cat’s physique to soak up different nutritional vitamins and minerals. It additionally enhances bone development in kittens and assists with digestive enzyme manufacturing.


To ensure that your cat’s physique to effectively take away toxins and waste merchandise and switch vitamins on to cells, they want sodium. Whereas an excessive amount of sodium might briefly trigger elevated thirst, additional sodium is excreted via your cat’s urine.


Correct protein digestion requires chloride to keep up correct physique pH.


To sum it up, cats want a weight loss plan that incorporates ample vitamins for his or her our bodies to operate correctly. Usually, these dietary wants could be met by feeding high-quality business cat meals. I like to recommend checking AAFCO tips, which rigorously define the wants of cats, and meals that meet these requirements are checked to verify they include sufficient of every compound. In case you are uncertain in case your meals is assembly your cat’s wants, the most effective useful resource is your veterinarian. They will advocate the most effective meals on your cat.

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